Amazon's Echo Buttons are just the start – more form factors to launch this year

Amazon's Echo Buttons are just the start – more form factors to launch this year
From TechCrunch - January 8, 2018

Amazons Echo Buttonsthe weird devices that work with at-home trivia games you play with Alexa, are only the start of what could turn out to be a new product line filled with a variety of connected accessories, as it turns out. The company is now testing other gadgets of a similar nature with Alexa game developers, and plans to launch these sometime in 2018.

I think youll see a lot more games come out this year that take advantage of the buttons, said Steve Rabuchin, VP, Amazon Alexa, in a conversation this week at CES. He added that consumers may see more types of connected devices, too. They could be buttons or they could be other form factors, he said of the rollouts expected this year.

Specifically, this product category is called Alexa Gadgets, and their existence isnt completely unknown.

The company at its re:Invent developer conference late last year announced its plans for this new category of connected products designed to work with Alexaand the developer tools needed to create them.

As with the Echo itself, the Echo Buttons demonstrate the technology thats possiblethe buttons arent standalone devices, but connect with Echo via Bluetooth. But with the newer developer tools, anyone can build their own connected devices, too.

The model is that we build something, we open it up to developer community, and let them innovate, Rabuchin said.

A select group of developers are now previewing the technology with their own skills.

And its no surprise that the debut testers are game developers.


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